Nudo is open! Here’s the menu, and if you think ramen is that dry stuff in packets that college kids subsist on, you should read up on the vast, gourmet world of ramen and the largest ramen festival in the U.S.
Underground 15, the new bar in the former Blue Spark, is formally opening this weekend. The actual bar is in the same location, but the business owners have opened the place up and redecorated with a steampunky reclaimed-materials theme. We hear they’ll be having live music regularly, too.
Northern Quest likes to shake up their restaurant offerings every so often, and the newest is a spot called the Deli in the previous Villa location.
The Growler Guys, a mini-chain founded in Bend, Ore., is opening not one but two stores in Spokane, with the first up north on Newport Highway and the second planned for 29th Avenue on the South Hill.
In case you’ve missed it so far, we’re heading into the end of this year’s American Craft Beer Week. It’s super easy to celebrate — just go have a pint at any local brewery — but here are a few specific happenings:
• Tonight, Iron Goat is doing a tap takeover at Pilgrim’s Market in Coeur d’Alene, including a beer brewed exclusively for the market.
• No-Li is hosting special tappings every day at 5 pm through this weekend, including a Wheat India Session Ale made in “collaBEERation” with Iron Goat, plus a local brewery tap takeover on the patio Saturday afternoon.
• Tonight at No-Li, Ramblin’ Road is releasing a Belgian Quad.
• 12 String is doing something different each night of the week, including an Electric Slide Imperial IPA night this evening — one version aged in Dry Fly barrels, one a firkin and the regular version.
• Perry Street Brewing is having $4 Belgian day on Friday for their dubbel and tripel, and on Saturday will have a limited release of their new double IPA.
• Orlison canned their 37 Pilsner for the first time today — you can see the whole process here.
• Battle of the Homebrews is happening this Saturday in Post Falls with with 50 amateur homebrewers vying for cash prizes and the chance to have their winning recipe brewed at Waddell’s.
• Post Street Ale House is putting local brews on 13 of their tap handles, and offering a free basket of fried pickles if you spend $10 through May 18.
• Total Wine is doing 15 percent off all beer singles — cans and bottles — through May 18.
Cheers! Read previous food news here.
It’s that time of year when summer starts making its way through the chilly spring wind, which reminded us of a serious question for coffee drinkers: How do you decide between hot and iced?
Readers on Facebook responded in force, some with complicated systems or reasons for choosing one or the other. But first, a breakdown of all responses:
For quite a few traditionalists, it’s no decision at all: Hot is the only way to go. Iced coffee has its loyal defenders, too, though not quite so many of them. But the people who will go for both have to choose in some way, and some reported weighing a number of different factors, from the time of day to what they’re planning to do later. Others just go by instinct. Here, simplified for tallying purposes, are the most common deciding factors:
Weather was a dominant one, unsurprisingly, and one that could use further investigation. Everyone agreed that cold weather means hot coffee and hot weather means iced coffee, but those who mentioned a specific temperature drew the line all over the place — 40 degrees, 50 degrees, 90 degrees, “freezing my ass off.” A variation on this was personal temperature — whether you’re feeling hot or cold — as well as special rules for buildings with their air conditioning turned way up.
Other reasons were less frequently cited, but still interesting. Choosing by season seemed distinct from weather, in that some people associate summer with iced coffee and winter with hot coffee regardless of the weather on a particular day. Making the switch is almost like turning a calendar page.
Time of day came up a lot in some of the more complicated equations, with noon as the most popular dividing line between hot coffee early in the day and iced coffee later on. Others cited location or activities, like hot coffee for a morning at home or eating at a diner, and iced coffee for running around doing errands.
A few people actively shot down the notion of deciding based on weather, saying they just know what they’re in the mood for. If you’re the opposite of those people and hold up the coffee line trying to decide, you may want to check out the newly launched Is It Iced Coffee Weather? website and app, which gives you a suggestions based on the weather forecast. Right now, for downtown Spokane, it says yes.
The Brain Freeze shop in Kendall Yards is opening early next week. Next door, the Wandering Table announced its opening date: May 22.
Egg It On, a new brunch joint in the former Hooter’s location, is now open.
Paragon Brewing in Coeur d’Alene is now open, and serving up a variety of local brews.
This week’s issue includes features on two new places: Penny’s Pit Pub & Lounge in Rathdrum and Fish St. Tacos in North Spokane. This week's Entree newsletter has more about just how many new places are opening soon.
The Fountain Cafe in Riverfront Park is now on its full summer schedule, open every day of the week.
The markets are back! The South Perry market is moving back outdoors today for the first time this year, and we hear they’ve got fresh produce, plant starts, cheese bread and more. The Spokane Farmers’ Market returns Saturday, and the farmers market in Moscow is also back for the season.
And, somewhat related, here’s a new Kickstarter campaign from Flora, a yogurt company, which is planning to share space with Batch Bakeshop when they open this July in West Central. Pledge $500 to get a quart of yogurt every week for a year.
A country nightclub called the Palomino Club is soon opening at what used to be the Center.
Ambrosia Bistro in Spokane Valley is getting a new executive chef: Don Leonard, who’s worked at Latah Bistro, Italia Trattoria, the Davenport and Central Food.
Conveniently in time for Mother’s Day, it’s Spring Release Weekend for local wineries around town. Here’s a list of new releases and events from Nectar Tasting Room, and the Cork District page has a lot more.
Then, starting Monday it’s American Craft Beer Week. (Brush up on your beer vocabulary with the handy guide in this week’s issue.) No-Li is hosting Master Cicerone Nicole Erny — the youngest person and first woman to pass the two-day master cicerone exam — on Monday evening. And this American Craft Beer Week flag could use a little more Inland Northwest representation, but No-Li got itself a nice place of honor:
Coming up a bit later, the Spo-Can canned craft beer festival is returning to the Elk at the end of May.
Read previous food news here.
The original Chairs Coffee on Indiana Avenue closed its doors for good last Friday. Last fall when the owners of Chairs Coffee opened their newer location, Chairs Public House, they reduced the evening hours at the original shop — reluctantly, because they knew many customers and groups had made a routine of meeting there during its three years open. Chairs Public House is open from 6 am to 2 am daily.
Porch Light Pizza in Pullman is now open, with such a successful first day they ran out of dough.
South Main Restaurant and Sports Bar in Colville is now open as well, with a full bar and breakfast served all day.
Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor, which traditionally opens for the season the weekend of Bloomsday, will be opening a little later this year due to plumbing issues over the winter. But they won’t be missing Bloomsday — grab an ice cream sandwich at the top of Doomsday Hill by the community center.
Browne’s Tavern in Brown’s Addition (naturally) is doing a soft opening today, with a grand opening scheduled for May 15. Also opening very soon are Nudo and the Brain Freeze Creamery shop.
Eat your way through First Friday tomorrow: Stop by the food truck rally outside City Hall for lunch or dinner (and we hear Dawn of the Donut will be there bright and early) and then head over to Barili Cellars' 5th anniversary party for the release of their newest wine, Cinque — “five” in Italian — and appetizers, music and the launch of a new wine club.
The two brothers who opened the Hop Shop on the South Hill four years ago are turning over ownership to a pair of sisters, Mel Wood and Emily Redington.
Another craft brewery is starting up — or getting official, anyway. Keep an eye out for Badass Backyard Brewing.
And according to licenses, Cheney is getting a new winery: Blended Roots Winery.
Downdraft Brewing Co. (formerly Cloudburst Brewing) launched a “build-a-brewery” Kickstarter campaign in hopes of opening this summer.
Best of luck to Downdraft, of course, but it does raise the question of whether we’ve reached a saturation point in regional food-related Kickstarters. Three other recent ones — Fusion Flours, Fenwyr Cellars and Love @ First Bite — have failed to reach their goals. Two that succeeded recently — Batch Bakeshop and Yards Bruncheon/Wandering Table — met their goals, but only barely, and both benefited from a well-known track record around town. Looking back further, Spiceologist Block and Santé’s trip to the James Beard House in New York also squeaked past the finish line, and that was after both received a relatively substantial amount of media coverage. Two recent brewery campaigns — Black Label Brewing Company and Mad Bomber Brewing Co. — both met their goals. But, more recently, One Tree Hard Cider did not.
It’s a rule of thumb with Kickstarter that most projects either succeed or fail to get off the ground at all. Very few projects collapse just inches from the finish line. That’s true in the food category, according to Kickstarter’s live stats: 64 percent of unsuccesful food projects never reached even 20 percent of the funding goal. And that seems to be true of our local projects, too — if the campaign can get some momentum at the outset, it will probably do OK.
Finally, here’s a thing that’s been called the best of all things on the Internet: Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos.
Read previous food news here.
Earlier this week, Zoe Underground in Pullman got an abrupt April 30 eviction notice from its spot in the basement of an historic building on the Washington State University campus. It turns out the building, long used as an interfaith community center, is being sold to the university — and the eviction news caused enough of a stir that WSU quickly said it would honor the original lease agreements that go through the end of the year. The reprieve probably doesn’t mean Zoe will stay put, though, since the owner is already looking for a new location. It’s a popular spot for students and faculty, but it’s worth stopping by for the underground newspapers from the student unrest days in the 1960s and ’70s that paper the back hallway from its time as a student activism hub.
Also in Pullman, Artfully Yours Bakery — which specializes in gluten- and allergen-free baked goods — is leaving its Main Street location for a new spot at Gladish Community Center.
And, one more WSU note — Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe, which is rarely open on weekends except for football game days, decided to be open from 1 to 4 pm this Saturday because a prospective student day happened to align with Springfest.
Spokane Cheesecakes has been open in its new location at 1420 E. Sprague since December, but they’re now celebrating a formal grand opening on Saturday. Stop by for samples and enter the drawing for a large cheesecake.
Remember that coffee stand that was vandalized with racist graffiti? And then it turned out to be sabotage from one of the owners? Well, it’s now reopening with entirely new ownership and a new name, 509 Grind.
A new coffee spot in Coeur d’Alene, Fuel Espresso, is opening May 3 with coffee from Sandpoint-based Evans Brothers.
Also in Coeur d’Alene, Paragon Brewing is set to open later in May, as is Theodore’s Fine Dining inside the historic Roosevelt Inn.
Finally, so many options if you feel like drinking some beer this weekend:
• No-Li is hosting a small-batch beer festival on Saturday.
• Lantern Tap House is continuing its anniversary festivities by featuring Iron Goat’s Head Butt IPA barrel-aged with Dry Fly gin barrels.
• The Buy Local Moscow BrewFest is happening Friday evening at the 1912 Center, with beverages from Paradise Creek Brewery, River City Brewing, Trickster Brewing and Whiskey Barrel Cider of Pullman.
• Any IPA at River City Brewing is just $2 a pint through the end of April.
• Plus, read about Girls’ Pint Out upcoming outings in this week’s Entree newsletter.
Compared to some of our other Green Issue assignments — like a day of eating only foods raised within 100 miles or going a full weekend without creating any waste — my mission seemed easy, hardly even a chore.
All I had to do was drink beer.
Only, the beer had to be brewed locally and without packaging for one weekend, meaning off a tap and out of a reusable container. We love local beers in bottles and cans (both easy to recycle), but for the green issue we wanted minimal waste.
Spokane has plenty of local breweries, but my fridge full of 22-oz. specialty and regional beers still proved tempting at times. For some perspective, it's worth taking a moment to consider some of the logistics of shipping beers from across the country or internationally.
This piece from the Brewers Association notes most beer shipments consist primarily of water and packaging weight. The hops, malts and other unique ingredients that make up our favorite beers weigh far less. The number-heavy explainer breaks out a lot of the details, but the bottom line is we're burning more than 5.7 million gallons of oil a year to import from Europe.
Most import beer then needs to be trucked to the final destination, burning another 50 million or so gallons of diesel fuel a year. The piece argues shifting to local beer provides multiple benefits:
"Because brewers operate in local economies, they could create new jobs where they are needed. Breweries could enjoy greater capacity utilization or faster amortization of their equipment. Local brews would also give the consumer a more fulfilling beer experience because, after all, beer is a perishable food—one that typically gets worse with age."
It's an attitude many breweries have championed for years. Sierra Nevada and New Belgium have made sustainability and environmental stewardship high priorities for their operations. Spokane breweries have emphasized local sourcing with some even growing their own hops. Regional wines have changed their bottles to use less material.
So we've got a smaller carbon footprint from shipping, combined with additional local jobs and fresher beer. That should be enough, but drinking local beers through bars and tasting rooms also eliminates the waste of packaging. All that tasty beer goes into reusable kegs, growlers or pint glasses.
Starting Saturday, I first grabbed a cold pint of Iron Goat Headbutt IPA at the newly opened Wisconsinburger. Over the past two years, many local restaurants have embraced local brews, but it was nice to see this Midwest-centric joint already on top of it.
In the afternoon, I made my first visit to Perry Street Brewing. The newly opened neighborhood tap room offered an outstanding selection of beers, including great deals on growler fills. After running through a taster of the six current brews, I enjoyed a Northwest pale and promised to return.
At the end of the day, I glared at the off-limits bottles in my refrigerator and decided I would make the leap to a reusable growler on Sunday to take some beer home for the evening.
Luckily one of my favorite Spokane breweries is also the closest physically to my home. River City Brewing makes and pours its beers less than a mile from my apartment. An easy walk, especially with a mild buzz.
A 64-oz. growler costs $10. A fill costs $12. But the brewery often offers discounts to fill at lower prices to make room for new seasonal beers. They topped me off with a growler of the Heritage English Pale and I headed home.
It was all tasty, affordable and about as green as beer gets this side of St. Patrick's Day. So yeah, not a bad assignment. Cheers.
Last week’s Entree newsletter mentioned that Coeur d'Alene's Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese was heading to Los Angeles for the 2014 National Grilled Cheese Invitational. Well, Meltz came home from the competition with two 1st Place wins for the “Ultimate Meltz” and the “Korean Krazy.”
Chicken fried garbanzo beans, applewood chicken wings, bacon-wrapped bacon sliders, peanut butter beignets… Here’s a peek at the tapas-style menu coming soon to the Wandering Table, scheduled to open in May in Kendall Yards. Above, you can see the construction progress has been moving along.
Unfortunately it's kind of a gray, rainy day, but here’s the Veraci Pizza building going up while we're at it:
The Bistro Box, the popular food truck, is opening the Fresh Plate — their brand for prepared sauces and spreads, and now a full fresh food market opening at Nevada and Empire this summer.
MickDuff’s Brewing Company started distributing their beer earlier this year as one phase of their expansion, and now they’ve announced their new tasting room will open at the beginning of July (in addition to keeping their original brewpub). The new tasting room is taking over the space currently home to Pend d’Oreille Winery, which is moving across the street to the historic Belwood building.
A new place called the Jackson Street Bar & Grill is in the liquor licenses this week in North Spokane. The location was most recently Rumrunners, which closed to relocate at the end of January.
Some good news for Cody Winfrey, who we wrote about several weeks ago after his Disney-themed cocktails went viral — the whole time he was searching for a bartending job here in Spokane, and his week he landed one at Chairs Public House.
It’s probably not the only seasonal restaurant reopening soon, but Sweet Lou’s in Hope, Idaho, announced April 22 as this year’s opening day.
Ephata Café, Juice and Java is planning to open on Northwest Boulevard in June.
Mad Bomber Brewing Company is starting a mug club.
River City Brewing is tweaking its IPA lineup this year, and all IPA pints are just $2 through the end of the month. Also, happy birthday, Emily.
Also, we’ve got more info on two previously mentioned openings in the print issue this week: Mi Casa downtown and Wisconsinburger on the South Hill. Don’t miss my fun trivia about the Midwest, including the entirely true fact that in Wisconsin kids can sit and the bar and drink alcohol at any age as long as they’re with their parents. Another side note for authenticity: I worked at the food tent at the Minnesota State Fair one summer when I was about 15, at the frozen yogurt booth my friend’s family owned. People would come by and get genuinely upset at us for offering “health” food that didn’t involve anything fried.
Read previous food news here.
Pie & Whiskey, a popular tradition among the events of the Get Lit! festival, returned to Woman's Club of Spokane last night with free pie, whiskey and readings from authors participating in the festival. Events continue today and this weekend with readings, panels and discussions between writers.
The Brick Wall Bar & Grill in Palouse burned to the ground Monday night, right before its first official day open. The fire started around 4 am from an undetermined cause, and historic building was a complete loss. A portion of the wall of names that long predated the current business may be salvaged. A recovery fundraiser is happening Sunday.
Madeleine’s is moving! The downtown cafe on Main Avenue will be relocating a few blocks to the east this fall to be next door to the owners’ new spot, — Durkin’s Liquor Bar, opening this summer — where Dutch’s closed last year. The buildings are being completely renovated right now, and the new Madeleine’s will have a bigger bakery, two espresso machines and outdoor seating in a courtyard out back.
Wisconsinburger on the South Hill is now open.
Not-yet-open Cloudburst Brewing in Post Falls is changing its name to Downdraft Brewing Co. More on why in this week’s Entree newsletter, as well as the fact that Saturday is National Grilled Cheese Day.
Donny’s Place, an upscale family-owned restaurant that earned a number of passionate fans during the year it was open, has now permanently closed.
Nudo, getting close to opening downtown, is owned by Josh Hissong of the design and archicture company HDG. So he’s got multiple reasons to be excited about their new hydraulic door.
Tamarack Public House, just a bit down the street from Nudo, is looking to open in time for Hoopfest in late June.
The Lantern Tap House is celebrating its 5th anniversary with multiple weeks of events and live music.
The student government at WSU is hosting “30 Days of Pullman” this month with a different special each day at businesses around town, including food deals like buy-one-get-one-free ice cream at Licks, 20 percent off any food item at My Office and $2 off a hard cider sampler at the Cider House. Today happens to be one of the more special occasions — Chocolate Decadence, which kicks off the university’s Mom’s Weekend with free chocolate at 26 locations around town.
Also in Pullman, fine dining establishment Swilly’s is closed while relocating to the BellTower building nearby. Taking its place in the historic building on Kamiaken is Porch Light Pizza, which is hiring now and getting close to opening.
Barrister Winery and Latah Creek Wine Cellars both took home big awards from the second annual Great Northwest Wine Competition.
No-Li is launching a Charity of the Month taster program, which means each taster try comes with a $2 token that customers can use on merchandise or put toward that month’s charity. At the suggestion of chef Branden Moreau, the first charity is Big Table, which supports workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry and, incidentally, has just moved into new downtown digs across from the Spokane Club.
Last but not least, two tie-ins for the Get Lit! festival this week:
Tonight is Pie and Whiskey at the Woman’s Club, which is basically what it sounds like. Pie, whiskey, short readings. If you haven’t gone before, get there 30 minutes earlier than whatever time you were planning. Doors open at 8:15 pm.
Santé is offering literary cocktails for National Poetry Month — last week’s was Gin Eyre, this week’s is Last of the Mojitos.
Read previous food news here.
I don’t know how you downtown employees do it. If I was that close to Method Juice Cafe every day I’d be broke. Healthier, sure, but also broke-er. For me, dropping $7 on a juice or smoothie is a big deal, so when I do I have to make sure it’s the perfect choice. Lately, that has been the “Natural” smoothie: cucumber, pear, spinach, pineapple, romaine, coconut water and agave. It’s a mix that’s refreshing, light and could get even the most skeptical among you on board with drinking something bright green. Other favorites include the “Vital” juice and “Legit” smoothie. Method is at 718 W. Riverside.
— HEIDI GROOVER
Spring is here, and with it comes the light, crisp and fruit-tinted beers I always gravitate to. During the flux of seasons I always enjoy exploring the new beers arriving weekly at the grocery store, and lately I’ve discovered two new standouts.
This beer isn’t for everyone, and it seems I know a lot of people who just aren’t into the Belgian-style beer thing. Too bad for them. Recently at WinCo I snagged the last 24 oz. bottle of Pyramid’s newest spring beer, the Strawberry Blonde Saison. (Pro tip: Saison is pronounced say-SAHN). It’s a crisp, tart beer that I can see myself enjoying through the summer. What stood out to me most is that the strawberry notes didn’t overpower this beer’s complex malts. If you like Pyramid’s Apricot ale, this beer is a great complement.
It’s partly the name of this beer that made me want to try it. Not only do I really like blonde ales for their flavor profiles, but I’m a natural blonde, and as dorky as this sounds, I like beers with “blonde” in the name. So silly, I know. Anyway, New Belgium’s Spring Blonde caught my attention for many reasons, including the label with a bunch of bikes leaning against a street post. The golden ale is light, easy and has a slightly dry, bitter finish with notes of lemon and bread creating that perfect balance of sweet and malty. Makes me want to get on the nonexistent yellow cruiser I don’t have to go have a picnic in the park.
— CHEY SCOTT
After binge-watching all of True Detective last week, I had the sudden urge to drink tall cans of Lone Star beer. Given that we can’t get that Texas-made lager out this way, I had to go with the Northwest equivalent — Rainier. Yeah, it’s no longer made in Washington, like it was back when the brewery aired awesome television commercials like this one, but it’s still cheap, reliable and a nice break from the sort of IPAs I typically imbibe. I recommend drinking it only out of 16-ounce cans.
— MIKE BOOKEY
Sure, coffee is great. And the Doma Coffee Roasting Company makes a pretty good brew. But even Doma coffee isn't as great as some things — like whiskey. So Doma has recently moved to close the gap by combining its bean processing with the glory of whiskey. And not just any whiskey, but that of local distillery Dry Fly. As they've explained online, DOMA has worked with Dry Fly to acquire some of their seasoned oak whiskey barrels to condition green coffee beans in for however long that takes. They say the results bring out booze-tinged vanilla and caramel flavors that whiskey lovers should swoon over. The first couple of small batches have sold out quickly at $25 for 12 oz. Doma announced a new batch should be ready soon. So, it might be a little hard to get our hands on, but we're looking forward to trying. For now, I’ll just stare at my regular mug of coffee and dream of what might be possible.
— JACOB JONES
As I arrived at the new Liberty Ciderworks tasting room on their opening day last Thursday, I was suddenly apprehensive. They’ve been distributing cider to a few places around town for a while now, but I hadn’t managed to catch it anywhere, and in the meantime I’d become fond of this new craft cider resurgence. I really wanted to like Liberty Ciderworks. So what if I didn’t actually like their cider?
My worries were quickly abated. This is not your overly sweet, mass-produced hard cider — I’m pretty sure it would be horribly ruined by a shot of Fireball — but it’s also not that similar to the craft beer I typically drink. Dry and light in color, the award-winning English Style reminded me of what I’ve always wanted wine to be. (Admittedly, I don’t drink much wine.) But the reason to stop by sooner rather than later is the limited-edition Jonathan cider, made exclusively with Jonathan apples. It will make you forget the wine or beer analogies and remember just how flavorful and delicious a good apple can be.
— LISA WAANANEN
I’m at Caffé Capri right now, that coffee shop in the center of Browne’s Addition near the Elk. It’s been my Sunday writing home for years now, back when it was still Tully’s. I’ve written some of my best lines here, and some of my absolute worst. I’m not a connoisseur of coffee. I’ve ordered pretty much the same drink — a mug of mocha, and yes, I’d like it with whip cream — essentially every time I’ve walked through the door.
But I am a connoisseur of atmosphere, and the drinks are just a drop of that warm and cozy feeling. There’s the soft lighting and the brick walls and the brown colors. There are the people milling about in the background, students studying for chemistry tests, gray-haired seniors discussing good-ol’-days, friends trading it’s-so-good-to-see-yous, and romantic couples gazing with sleeping Sunday smiles, and at least one journalist off to the side, trying to get a head start on his deadline.
Coffee shops, I’ve always felt, are perfect places to write. Just enough sound, just calm. The Atlantic’s Connor Friedersdorph has some good speculation for why here. So I’ve been drinking mocha. But the what rarely matters as much as the where.
— DANIEL WALTERS
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